We drifted across the frozen Arctic for 30 days, trapped in sea ice. Four miles here, ten miles there—a squiggly red line on the ship’s digital chart was the only measure of progress. Isolation settled in. We had to shoo away curious polar bears, and dress like it was the moon. One morning, the sun gloriously reappeared on the horizon after being switched off at that latitude for four months of the year. Didn’t make things any warmer.
A few weeks ago, Arctic sea ice reached its lowest winter extent on record. Meanwhile, I was on a Norwegian polar research vessel with scientists studying how the ocean, atmosphere, snow, ice and biology all interact in the Arctic amidst a backdrop of significant warming. This was the fourth (and final) dispatch I filed from the ship for National Geographic Magazine: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/…/150319-arctic-expedit…/. Print story forthcoming.